BV 4x100 relay takes first step to defend state title
ERIE — The Bureau Valley Storm 4x100 relay team was on a mission during Thursday’s Erie 1A Girls Sectional Track & Field Meet.
The Storm relay crew is taking aim on repeating as state champions and took the first step Thursday, capturing first-place honors. It was one of three BV relays to ride the Charleston Express to state along with four individuals in six different events.
“For a cool breezy night I think our girls performed well,” BV coach Dale Donner said. “This is a very tough sectional, and we qualified in more than half the events. We knew Alleman would be tough, so getting second is a nice accomplishment. Now we just need to continue to get healthy and hopefully take the next step down at Charleston.”
Bureau Valley (77) finished second again to Alleman (98.5), which repeated as sectional champions.
The Storm will be joined by a strong contingent from Amboy-LaMoille, which qualified in six events.
The Storm’s 4x100 members all said their exchanges ran smooth, starting with senior Marissa Endress passing the baton to junior Carly Konneck, then on to classmate Molly Bohm, with sophomore Kamryn Kolb bringing it home.
“Since we won last year, it was our goal to come back and defend our title. This is just the first step doing that,” Endress said.
“Our handoffs were very good. Besides the wind, we couldn’t have asked for better handoffs. Hoping down at Charleston, there won’t be wind.”
Konneck added, “This feels so amazing. I just love my team so much. Doing this is just so great for us. We’ve been working on this all season, and it was our goal to get to state and I’m just glad we’re going.”
Bohm has been sidelined with a sore hip and was eager to get back on the track for the first time in three weeks.
“Sitting out watching, I just wanted to run with them,” she said. “It’s really exciting going back to state with these girls again. It was just a great run. We had great handoffs.”
Kolb said she knew she had it, even though she had Fulton’s Julie Lehman breathing down her neck at the exchange. The Storm came in at 50.33 with the Steamers right behind at 50.43.
“The moment I got it, I saw a girl to my left, but with the kick I have at the end, I knew I had it,” Kolb said.
Endress, Kolb and Konneck picked up junior Madison Morrow to win the 4x200 relay, their time of 1:47.42 nearly four seconds under the qualifier.
Kolb also advanced in the long jump with a first-place jump of 17-3 and hit the qualifying mark of 26.91 in the 200 right on the nose, placing third.
BV senior Saige Barnett advanced once again in the shot put, placing second at 40-8 1/4. She will go down to state in the discus as well for the first time in two years, hitting the qualifier on her second throw at 120-4, placing third. She was one of eight girls to qualify.
“Last year, discus, I didn’t make it, so that was a little disappointing. And I’ve been throwing qualifying all year, so I came in relaxed and confidant I could do it,” said Barnett, who’s made state all four years.
“It’s been a great year and team’s been super successful. It’s a fun group of girls, so I’m super excited we get to go down to state together.”
Konneck will join Kolb in the long jump at state, shattering the qualifying mark (16-4) by 10 inches, tying for second place at 17-2.
Sophomore Jade Aber topped the qualifier in the triple jump by more than two feet, placing third at 35-5 1/2.
Aber also teamed with Endress, Konneck and Elisabeth Sullivan to qualify on time in the 4x400 relay with a third-place effort of 4:15.6, finishing behind Rockridge and Amboy-LaMoille.
Clippers set sail
Amboy-LaMoille’s Emma Lundquist, a junior from LaMoille, ran off with a first-place finish in the 300 hurdles, beating out Orion standout Danielle Taets 48.37-48.64.
“I just came out strong and had the right mindset,” Lundquist said. “I’ve always struggled with the start, and this time it was different.”
Lunquist wasn’t quite done as she also qualified on three Clippers relays.
She teamed with Sidney Corcoran, Ashley Althaus and Brooklyn Whelchel to qualify on time (51.14) in the 4x100 relay (fourth place), with Corcoran, Kylee Brown and Whelchel on time (1:49.31) in the 4x200 (fifth place), and with Corcoran, Whelchel and Althaus for a second-place finish in the 4x400, running a qualifying time of 4:13.74.
Althaus also made it down on time, 1:01.73, in the 400 (third place), while the freshman Brown of LaMoille advanced by hitting the qualifying mark in the long jump with a leap of 16-5, good for seventh place.
Amboy-LaMoille coach Michael Robinson said the day went as well as can be expected with “PRs” or season records in almost every event.
“Kylee got us off to the start we like to see. We always say field events set the tone. We had some heartbreak falling just short in a couple events,” he said. “But we picked up some good times and are sitting pretty well right now.”